14 May

Eid Mubarak to our children, young people, families and staff. I hope you had a wonderful day celebrating with your family. On Friday afternoon, I was lucky enough to get a Henna tattoo as I attended some of our Eid celebrations that took place across school.

This week we welcomed Kerry Dawson, an independent safeguarding trainer and consultant. Kerry was supported by Rebeckah Hollingsworth, Executive Director of Safeguarding for the MAT. Kerry was commissioned to carry out an audit on our safeguarding protocols, policies and procedures. Kerry will produce a report with a view to provide advice, guidance and recommendations on how we can improve our practice to ensure we are taking all necessary measures to safeguard our children and young people.

The process was rigorous; an in-depth scrutiny was carried out in order to challenge and support our current practice. We have not yet received a formal report; however, I am confident the auditor was impressed with our practice so far. There is always room for improvement and I will welcome any recommendations to improve/develop and support our practice in order to ensure that all children and young people continue to experience the following: feel safe, feel like they belong, feel listened to, feel included, feel comfortable, feel confident to approach staff and most importantly, know they have a voice.

The auditor complimented the children and young people who were involved in the process. Thomas, Olivia and Lucas respectfully and confidently attended a questions and answer session. All three students answered honestly and gave examples to provide a clearer overview of the support they receive at Hollinwood on a day to day basis. I am extremely proud of our participators. It is always pleasing to hear that our children and young people feel safe and supported in school.

I look forward to providing you with further information once I receive the final report.

Let’s see what some of our classes have been doing this week starting with Miss Tootill’s class…

This week, we have been focusing on our highlights and memories from this year as we start to prepare for transition to our next year group for September 2021. Here are our Student Highlights 2020-2021:

  • Byron

  • Carlo

  • Ethan

  • Ibraaheem

  • Jack

  • Kaden

  • Nathan

  • Sophia

  • Thomas G.

  • Thomas P.

Here are our Staff Highlights 2020-2021:

  • Miss Tootill

What a fantastic, fun-filled and memorable year it’s been. This year I have had the pleasure to teach 10 wonderful, inspirational and individual characters. We’ve made many memories and embraced learning, laughter and love. We’ve grown together as a class and as individuals. As for choosing my favourite moment it would be impossible to do so, due to the vast amount of amazing memories we’ve made over the last 9 months. I would also like to acknowledge all the hard work and amazing efforts that Miss Sutcliffe, Mr Leeson and Mr Ottaway have contributed to our class this year – thank you! I wish the best of luck to all of our year 6 children who are continuing their Hollinwood Academy journey into secondary school and I look forward to seeing our year 5 children, flourish in their final year in primary.

  • Miss Sutcliffe

This year I have been incredibly lucky to work with 10 fantastic students who each are unique in themselves. I have had the privilege of working alongside Miss Tootill, Mr Leeson and Mr Ottaway who all show how much they value everyone. There have been several highlights of the year, one of my favourites being having all our children back into school. One of my favourite moments from the year is watching how far each student has progressed this academic year. Each and every one of them have grown into their own characters. It has been a pleasure to work with KS2LTO, I wish them all the best in high school and I will miss them all very much!

  • Mr Leeson

During my time in KS2LTO I have enjoyed developing relationships with the students and getting to know their various characteristics. There have been many laughs and highlights which have included making cheesecakes, Easter activities and a visit from Jesus during an English lesson. I have enjoyed watching all of the students develop and show of their range of skills in all activities.

  • Mr Ottaway

I was fortunate enough to be given the opportunity to work in KS2LTO for 7 weeks, the staff were conscientious, professional and supportive at all times. The students were amazing and made me feel very welcome. Their hard work and dedication in class was outstanding to see. There were many highlights for me from outdoor education, where the students created their own bird feeders and mini sensory garden to living skills where the students made different foods each week from sponge cakes to flap jacks showing off their creative skills. I really enjoyed this experience working with the wonderful staff and students and wish them all the best for the future.

Mr Hartley’s form…

Our form will have completed their final exams and coursework modules by the end of this half term and we are immensely impressed by what they have achieved. Their ASDAN Employability coursework has been sent for moderation, we are finalising our Gardening Short Course portfolios, still completing our LIBF (London Institute of Banking and Finance) challenges on money and finance and they have started to complete their Functional Skills exams.

While the rest of the class have been completing exam preparation and updating coursework, Kurt has been continuing with the lessons and working hard in the LIBF challenges. He has now completed both unit 1 and 2 and is studying for his unit 3. He passed the first exam with a 100% score. He won’t mind us telling you that he is the first student at school to get 100% in the exam. Very impressive!

They have worked so hard on achieving their qualifications these past couple of years and should be very proud of themselves. This half term has been tough, with exam prep and completing their final pieces of coursework but have shown excellent focus and a big commitment to learning. We are looking forward to the next half term and are hopeful that we will soon be on educational and life skills trips again.

Mr Hartley is our careers and employability lead at Hollinwood Academy and he would like to share with you what our secondary students have been involved in over this academic year for careers and employability…

You will have already heard about how impressed we were with the work of our students during their inhouse work experience last half term.

This was their final module for their ASDAN coursework, and it has now been sent for external moderation. The students have worked hard on creating some fantastic portfolios – unfortunately we can’t share these with you until after the moderation but here you can see some of the practical work that went into them..

We are very proud of how professional and hardworking the students in my form were during their inhouse work experience, that we have decided that we will continue to offer this to Miss Carpenter’s form. They started their inhouse work experience at the beginning of this term, as well as their virtual work experience. Yet again, the students have impressed us all with their faultless work ethic and eagerness to take on the role.

All secondary students have now been signed up to the careers portal Start Profile, where they are able to gain information and advice on education and career choices, access activities to improve their employability skills and have a personal locker to keep a record of their achievements and qualifications. Secondary students have all been given their Start Profile logins and can access the online learning portal from home. Please encourage them to do so and have a look at the platform for yourself by clicking here.

Careers have also been the focus of this half term’s PHSE and Living Skills lessons.

This week in Outdoor Education Hollinwood Academy have been exploring how Nature can have a positive impact on our mental health and well being. Students have had opportunities to listen to relaxing music, discussed activities that can be done outside in our local environment and taken part in a range of sensory activities. Students enjoyed the activities and we have a special mention for Miss Jones who again displayed her amazing creative talents with her class by producing some origami blue paper tulips to represent mental health awareness week.

Every class was also provided sunflower seeds and have been out to the flower beds and planted them. We can’t wait to see them all grow over the next few weeks!!  Enjoy the photos 🙂

Now to our amazing SUPER STARs and SEALs:

  • Miss Parkinson’s STAR of the week is David for fantastic Maths.
  • Miss Parkinson’s SEAL Superstar is George for being a kind and helpful friend

  • Mr Corrigan’s STAR this week is Brooke for making fabulous progress with her handwriting (‘a’).

  • Mr Corrigan’s SEAL Superstar is Lewis for showing great listening this week (following instructions and routines independently).

  • Miss Prescott’s STAR of the week is Connor for getting on the bus sensibly at home and school.
  • Miss Prescott’s SEAL of the week is Lucas for playing safely and understanding how not to hurt others.
  • Miss Prescott’s DOJO winner is Gerard. Well done!
  • Miss Prescott’s WOW moment goes to Ebon. Well done!

  • Miss Simms’ STAR of the week is Lucas for an amazing first week at his new school.

  • Miss Simms’ SEAL Superstar is Andie for knowing that it is a good choice to take herself to a safe space when she is sad or frustrated.

  • Miss Tootill’s STAR of the week is Kaden for helping his friends in their learning.

  • Miss Tootill’s SEAL of the week is Nathan for acknowledging his friends feelings and looking after them.

  • Miss Tootill’s DOJO winner is Sophia. Well done!

  • Miss Collinge’s STARs of the week are Nabiha for an amazing first week at Hollinwood and Lenni for working hard to check and use his schedule.

  • Miss Collinge’s SEAL Superstar is Ijaaz for trying hard to remember his friends’ names.

Now to our ‘Commitment to Learning Stars’:

Last Friday, we advertised for two new vacancies for Assistant Head of School posts:

As the school has grown from strength to strength so have our student numbers from when we first opened our doors and due to this we are looking to expand our senior leadership team. The closing date for the two vacancies is Wednesday 19th May at midday and Miss Gordon and myself will be busy shortlisting and finalising the interview process. Mrs Dunne, Executive Director of Learning for the MAT, Mrs Ryan, HR Adviser for Hollinwood Academy and one of our governors will be included on the interview panel. We have had a lot of external and internal interest and I can’t wait to showcase our successful candidates with you.

As COVID restrictions are slowly being lifted the Government has issued new guidance which I have used to update our risk assessment. From Monday 17th May, we are no longer asking parents to wear a face covering when dropping off or picking up your child from school (of course if you feel you would still like to wear one then that is absolutely fine). I ask that you continue to keep your 2m distance and if you need to come into the school building then please wear a face covering, if you can. Children and young people will still remain in bubbles and face to face teaching across the school will continue. Within the guidance it also states that our secondary students no longer have to wear a face covering in and around school but that it is still recommended that all staff wear face coverings while on the corridors and communal areas which staff will adhere to.

I can confirm that we will not be running our May half term holiday club but we have had initial conversations regarding our summer holiday club. I hope to share more information on this in the next coming weeks as we move towards the final stage of the Government’s roadmap out of lockdown.

As the restrictions ease on Monday, I am looking forward to seeing my family and most importantly my mum. She has been shielding since the first lockdown as she is CEV and come Monday I will be allowed to give her a hug. My two girls cannot wait to see and cuddle their Grandma and I can already envisage lots of happy tears. I also know some of our students are looking forward to seeing their family members next week. It is the little things that count and I will certainly not take them for granted again.

Have a lovely weekend and stay safe.

Mrs Millard

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